For all the chatter about a minimal "backlash," perhaps the widest embrace of heartier dance timbres can be seen not in the steely main-floor largesse of Berghain and its ilk but in the maximalism in some of techno's peripheral genres like disco. If you're already tired of such trends as modern Balearic and cosmic disco, then you've probably got no interest in Permanent Vacation. For the rest of us, Tom Bioly and Benjamin Fröhlich's Munich label is one of the variegated genre's most consistent ear-catchers, blending lazy day beach disco and West Coast rock with cosmic and Italo sounds fit for even warmer nights. Selected Label Works #1, then, is an overdue greatest hits of a sort for the boys, assembling some of Permanent's best originals and reworks along with a couple of exclusives.
With such a consistent set of twelves to pull from , it's no surprise that Selected Works is chock full o' nuggets. Permanent has long massaged a talent for roping in the heavies where their remixes are concerned. Todd Terje's mix of Dølle Jølle's "Balearic Incarnation" is a gorgeous bit of twirling, top-down Balearica that compresses an hour of waning daylight into ten minutes, and Aeroplane's glittery, dark-corner dub-disco remix of Lullabies in the Dark's "Song for Marie and Elise" is yet another of the Belgian duo's phenomenal rereads. Micro-goth heartthrob Superpitcher adds some of his cloudy night touches to Lullabies in the Dark's "Iridium," while the Junior Boys strengthen Sally Shapiro's buoyant "Jackie Junior" into one fat-assed electro dub jam.
Highlighting an obvious affinity with crossover dance labels like DFA and Italians Do It Better—which tend to play to the Pitchfork crowds as much as pickier dance aficionados—are remixes from steadies on those rosters Holy Ghost!, Invisible Conga People and Hercules & Love Affair. The former, in particular, excel with the vocal chants, light-soaked bells and frizzy guitar break of Panthers' "Goblin City" and the sinuous spaceage rock of "Spectacle Wins," originally by Bioly and Fröhlich's own Only Fools and Horses project. Invisible Conga People turn Woofy vs. Projections "Return of Starlight" into a woozy, lost-at-sea downtempo epic, while Hercules & Love Affair tease a phantom acid house strut from Bostro Pesopeo's eggheaded "Falls."
But the originals prove what's so attractive about Permanent to the remixers in the first place. Bostro Pesopeo makes with the bizarre—woozy, pocket protector Krautrock on "Reprise"—and Leipzig's Good Guy Mikesh & Filburt's "Someone Told Me" is anthemic krauty disco with cozy Chicago vocal samples and gleaming synth melodies. Though perhaps not as compelling as the released material, the set's exclusives are notable as well. The Permanent Vacation dudes themselves reign in nu disco queen Kathy Diamond for some swivel-hipped piano house on "Tic Toc," which fails only in not leaving enough room for Diamond to fully luxuriate. Corduba's "Cambio" slowly unfurls into a stretch of quiet moonlight motorik. As you might have gleaned already, Selected Works #1 is a necessary assembly from Permanent's first few years. But those who've been following along since 2006 probably already knew that...
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Tracklist: Various Artists - Selected Label Works #1CD1:
01. Lullabies In The Dark - Iridium
02. Dølle Jølle - Balearic Incarnation (Todd Terje's Extra Døll Mix)
03. Sally Shapiro - I'll Be By Your Side (Tensnake Remix)
04. Lullabies In The Dark - Code 7429
05. Lullabies In The Dark - Song For Marie And Elise (Aeroplane Remix)
06. Panthers - Goblin City (Holy Ghost! Extended Disco Dub)
07. Bostro Pesopeo - Communquis
08. Bostro Pesopeo - Reprise
09. Sally Shapiro - Jackie Junior (Junior Boys Dub)
10. 40 Thieves - Don't Turn It Off (feat. Qzen) (Brennan Green Mix)
11. Woolfy vs Projections - Return Of Starlight (Invisible Conga People Remix)
01. Dølle Jølle - Balearic Incarnation
02. 40 Thieves - Don't Turn It Off (feat. Qzen)
03. Lexx - Axis Shift
04. Only Fools And Horses - Spectacle Wins (Holy Ghost! Remix)
05. Steve Yanko - Prostitute Pink
06. Permanent Vacation feat. Kathy Diamond - Tic Toc
07. Bostro Pesopeo – Falls (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)
08. Good Guy Mikesh & Filburt - Someone Told Me
09. Lullabies In The Dark – Iridium (Superpitcher Remix)
10. Woolfy vs Projections – Absynth (Marcus Worgull Remix)
11. Corduba - Cambio
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